The comment from SS on my last post got me thinking about whether, in fact, I would have been happier having had a child with the wrong person than having no children with the right partner. In some ways, I suppose it is moot to consider this, given that I can't go back and do anything over.
But coincidentally, a friend who is in grad school posed the following question for a paper he is writing. Which role has brought you more happiness: spouse or parent?
In helping out my friend, I emailed several of my friends who are parents to get their responses. Some of the responses were just what I would've expected. For example, two friends who are divorced parents answered that the "parent" role has brought them more happiness. A few people were unable to choose, usually citing the interplay between the relationships of "parent" and "spouse," or saying that they couldn't choose between the two.
Interestingly, though several married friends unequivocally chose "parent." These are all friends who have been married some time--from 12 to 25 years--who have more than one child. To my knowledge, they are all happily married.
Not one of my friends unequivocally responded that the role of "spouse" had brought him/her greater happiness.
So I suppose I can infer from this that, if I am like my friends, the happiness I would (will?) experience from being a parent will be equal to, or more than, the happiness I've experienced as MM's wife. Which just confirms my thought that, had I had a child earlier in life, even with the wrong partner, I likely would have derived more happiness from that experience than from marrying MM.
Hmmm. Kinda makes me wish I'd known this at, say, 23. But then again, at 23, I still thought I'd be super-fertile well into my 30s. So I probably still would've waited to TTC.
Interesting thing to consider. . . .